include daughter not living with us in Christmas card photo? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been married to my second husband for nearly 3 years and between us we have four children -- my 2 stepsons who live with us full time (mother deceased) and my own son and daughter children who, until early this year, lived with us the majority of the time (every other weekend and one night a week with their father). This year has been tough because my oldest daughter -- 15yo -- moved to live with her father full time (wanted more independence and less rules), and only sees ME for 1-2 hours a week. Right now she does not spend any time with my husband or her step-brothers (except she has gone with all of us maybe 2-3 weekends this year to visit my parents)... but of course sees her own brother when he goes to visit his dad.

 

Of course I'm dealing with all sorts of issues right now ... but one of the very minor "weird" things over this holiday season is how to send our Christmas cards. We usually include a photo of all 6 of us and send to both my husband and my family and friends. I don't know whether to try to get my daughter to come take a family photo with us (which my husband is pretty opposed to because of the pain she has caused to me/us over this past year and because she is never here) ... or to send out a card with individual photos of the kids and INCLUDE her (maybe a collage with a photo of my husband and me in one pic, and then individuals of each child) ... or just do a family photo and not include my daughter? Part of me just wants to NOT send Christmas cards this year or just send a non-photo version, but my husband says that his family enjoys seeing how the kids have changed.

 

If she even lived with us part time ... this would not be an issue ... but since she only spend time with me and my son ... don't know how to address this.

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#2 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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If you're going to do a photo card, she should absolutely be included, IMO. It would be incredibly hurtful to her to be excised from your family in such a concrete way. I think the collage is a good compromise. I get that she's causing pain too, but this would only add fuel to the fire. Years from now, when everything's (hopefully!) rosy again, it'll cause you all pain to look back on a Christmas card photo that includes everyone except one member of the family, and might cause the rest of the kids to wonder if they'll be excluded if they have some difficult times too. 

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#3 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 11:51 AM
 
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Definitely agree with PP-she should be included one way or the other.  If she doesn't want to participate in a family photo, I think the collage is a nice idea.  I often do this anyway if I can't get a great pic off everyone together.  I imagine it would be very hurtful for her to not be included and will probably just make your relationship worse. 


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#4 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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Not including your dd should not even be an option. That's horrid.
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#5 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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My mother and step-father got rid of every picture of me when I left home because they didn't agree with some of the things I did, and it pretty much cemented for me that they didn't want me in their lives. I think my mom regrets it now, but it's just too late. Don't do this. You may not be able to repair the damage. It sounds like your husband is the one who has problems with it, so I would tell him that his choices are everyone in the photo or non-photo card. Who cares if his extended family wants a photo? They're not the important ones here.


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#6 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 01:38 PM
 
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My $.02:  Wait until the next time she's with you, to do the family photo.  If she's willing to be in it, great.  Take it.  Send it.  The end.  

 

She is still your child.  She's still part of your family - and your husband's.  It's not her fault that her family situation affords her the option of going to live somewhere else, with fewer rules (and to still live with a parent).  Lots of 15-year-olds would take that option, if they had it.  At that age, the reason kids still NEED rules is because they're too immature to KNOW they need them (and to impose their own limits).  She'll almost certainly live to regret the way she's behaving, now.  And, when she gets there (I mean 10+ years down the road), you need to still love her and she needs to know she's still family, to you.

 

But if you give her the chance to be in the family photo and she shows her rear (doesn't want to take it, won't smile, won't be in the same photo as her step-dad...whatever), then wait until she leaves; take a family photo without her; and simply include her name among the names of the family members, on the card.  People will realize she's still in your family, but not in the picture.  Those who ask why will either be rude (so you don't need to answer them) or close enough to you, that you'll want to tell them about it.

 

If your daughter's feelings are hurt, calmly point out that even though she spends so little time with you, all of you waited until she was around, to do the photo.  It was her choice not to be in it and you hope she'll choose differently, next year.


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#7 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 04:44 PM
 
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She should absolutely be included  in the family photo.   Anything else you might regret and might cause a rift.  Please put your foot down and pleasantly insist (and tell DH that this is not up for debate).


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#8 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 06:19 PM
 
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I cannot even imagine a situation where I would not include one of my kids. I'm sorry. Tell hubby to suck it up, or send out a non-photo card. Although I really do like the collage idea...
 

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#9 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 08:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post

Not including your dd should not even be an option. That's horrid.

I agree. The kids who are the most difficult to love often need our love the most. Always choose the high ground so you can look back on your choices with self-respect.
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#10 of 13 Old 12-01-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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I didn't always live with my family (long story--very different reasons). It broke my heart when my mom showed me pictures and "Look at these wonderful pictures of our family." I noticed that I wasn't part of the family.

 

I'm still not part of the family. Don't pick your husband over your daughter. :(


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#11 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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Include her if she'll cooperate, if she won't then do the collage thing. tell your husband to grow up, at least there's a reason *she's* acting like a 15 year old!

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~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#12 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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This might sound horrible to most, but we do Christmas photo cards, and my SD isn't in them.  We only see her during the summers.  So in the summers, we send out "Spring Cards!"  The girls think it is so much fun.  They get to go and get new dresses and hair styles.  I even take the "older" ones to get their nails done.  When my SD gets here in the summers, that is one of the first questions - "When are we having our "Girl Day with pics".  My SD gets Christmas Cards done with her family that she is with there, and we exchange pics.  I have never thought of the collage idea though.  That sounds like fun.  My SD always laughs at our Christmas Cards cause usually they are silly...


 

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"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life."

Richard Bach

 

 

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#13 of 13 Old 12-04-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WorkingMom30 View Post

This might sound horrible to most, but we do Christmas photo cards, and my SD isn't in them.  We only see her during the summers.  So in the summers, we send out "Spring Cards!"  The girls think it is so much fun.  They get to go and get new dresses and hair styles.  I even take the "older" ones to get their nails done.  When my SD gets here in the summers, that is one of the first questions - "When are we having our "Girl Day with pics".  My SD gets Christmas Cards done with her family that she is with there, and we exchange pics.  I have never thought of the collage idea though.  That sounds like fun.  My SD always laughs at our Christmas Cards cause usually they are silly...

 

I don't think that sounds horrible at all.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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